Research Assistant - Water Witness International

Research Assistant - Water Witness International 

Location: Edinburgh, UK 

Salary: Self-employed consultancy position, £12 per hour

Reports to: Lead Researcher                                     

Term: 2 months, extension subject to performance and funding.

Key dates: Accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis.


About the Organisation 

Water Witness International works for a water secure world where all people have reliable access to the water they need to thrive, and are protected against pollution, flooding, drought and water conflict.  We investigate, innovate and influence at local, national and global scales to tackle the root causes of unsustainable and inequitable water management.  Since our foundation in 2009 we have grown to become an influential and respected NGO working at the cutting edge of natural resource governance and social justice. With our trusted partners, we have innovated across three workstreams: helping vulnerable communities; driving water stewardship and improving governance and aid. 

Helping Vulnerable Communities: We support communities impacted by pollution, droughts, floods, inadequate supply and sanitation and water conflict. We help people to secure their water rights and to demand action, and accountability from those responsible. Over the past 5 years, we have enabled 563,639 people to improve their water security through our social accountability work.  We are now extending and strengthening our network of community Water Witnesses to further scale and embed water justice for the poor.

Driving Water Stewardship:  We scrutinise private sector and financial institution performance on water, calling out bad practice to instigate change. We co-founded the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) to establish the global standard for responsible water use and advise governments and businesses to ensure that commodity production, trade and investment don’t pollute or deplete water. We are working with partners to scale up water stewardship in Africa so that water impacts of our globalised economy are flagged, addressed and avoided. 

Improving Governance and Aid:  We undertake research, investigations, and use evidence to advocate for effective and equitable water use and governance.  We use our expertise as water resource managers to flag bottlenecks and to signpost opportunities for better policy, practice and overseas aid.  We want our work to hit harder to benefit the poor, and to drive system change for more accountable governance and aid.

External evaluations reveal the key lessons, tangible impacts, and exciting potential of these approaches for accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.  We are now seeking research assistants to help us build on this success and to support the next phase of our development as a world-changing organisation through strengthening our research and communications capacity.


Job Summary and Purpose

Assist the Lead Researcher in the development and delivery of a rapid evidence assessment of water and advocacy projects in low and middle-income countries.

Duties and responsibilities

The objective of this role is to support the lead researcher in the expedient delivery of our rapid evidence assessment. The Research Assistant will conduct research tasks as directed by the lead researcher these may include, but are not limited to:

  • conducting literature searches
  • screening literature
  • data extraction
  • quality assessing data

Person Specification:

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate the following:

Experience, skills and qualifications:


  • Good understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • The ability to communicate effectively (both orally and in writing) on complex issues.
  • The ability to critically evaluate data and other research evidence with accuracy and perception to meet the needs of the research.
  • Must be dynamic, creative, and passionate about delivering positive change in the world.



  • Good working knowledge or systematic reviews or systematic mapping of literature.
  • Undergraduate or Masters degree in Environmental Sciences or International Development.
  • Understanding of the issues surrounding water and accountability in low and middle-income countries.


How to Apply

Interviews will be held on a rolling basis.

Expected start date: 1st April 2019

Interested and suitably qualified candidates should send a CV and cover letter to


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